SUNY Potsdam Invites Community to First-Ever Chemtoberfest


The logo for SUNY Potsdam’s Chemtoberfest 2011, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 in Minerva Plaza.

In celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Chemistry is brewing up a family-friendly campus carnival to honor the discipline’s scientific breakthroughs.

The College’s first annual Chemtoberfest will be offered all day on Friday, Oct. 21 in SUNY Potsdam’s Minerva Plaza, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a ceremony at noon.

Part fall festival, part science fair, the event will have a variety of activities to usher in autumn and spread a passion for chemistry to young and old. Chemtoberfest 2011 will feature science demonstrations, crafts, giveaways, a chemistry magic show, and food provided by PACES.

“This is Potsdam’s celebration of chemistry, which is known as ‘the common language’ of science throughout the world. We thought an Oktoberfest-themed celebration would be a great way to introduce people of all ages to all that chemistry can teach us,” said event chair John C. Proetta, an adjunct instructor of chemistry at the College.

At noon, chemistry faculty members Dr. Anthony Molinero and Dr. Martin Walker will address the crowd. Afterward, there will be a round of piñata in honor of Mole Day (actually celebrated on Oct. 23), which recognizes commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 10^23), a basic measuring unit in chemistry.

There will be a “mad professor’s” chemistry magic show at 2:30 p.m., followed by a round of chemistry trivia.

Attendees will have a chance to check out demonstrations of the chemistry behind snacks like cotton candy, ice cream, blown sugar or “edible glass,” and popcorn, while they are made right there—and can take a taste with them. There will also be a display explaining the fermentation of hard cider.

In addition, there will be demonstrations about the cinema chemistry behind special effects seen in movies like “Harry Potter,” and children will be shown how to make their own “Gak” to take home.

SUNY Potsdam’s Chemtoberfest 2011 will honor the International Year of Chemistry. The year 2011 coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize being awarded to Madame Marie Curie, and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies. For more information, visit

The entire event is free, and the public is welcome to attend. Parking is available in Lots 1, 2 and 6.

The event is sponsored by the Northeast regional chapter of the American Chemical Society, as well as SUNY Potsdam’s C-STEP program, the Pre-Health Club, the Student Government Association and Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the chemistry honor society.

For more information about Chemtoberfest 2011, contact Proetta at or call the Department of Chemistry at (315) 267-2264.

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Chemistry offers a rigorous and well-balanced curriculum that provides a solid foundation for successful graduate study, and/or a career in chemistry or a chemistry related field. The department is known for its strong and diverse undergraduate research programs, its $1.3 million in grants to support teaching and research, and the success of its students’ acceptance in competitive graduate/ professional schools.

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Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.